Population and infectious disease ecology: How biotic and abiotic factors can shape host population and parasite dynamics.

Paul Hurtado
Mathematical Biosciences Institute & Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University

(December 6, 2012 10:20 AM - 11:15 AM)

Population and infectious disease ecology: How biotic and abiotic factors can shape host population and parasite dynamics.

Abstract

Parasites are ubiquitous in nature, and the various biotic and abiotic processes that shape host population dynamics can also affect the host-parasite interaction. In this talk I'll discuss the dynamic consequences of such processes in three examples. First, I'll briefly discuss a project motivated by Mycoplasma gallisepticum infections in the House Finch, in which we consider virulence evolution under two trade-offs: the classic virulence-transmission tradeoff as well as a host movement tradeoff. Second, I'll briefly discuss the three-species dynamics of Daphnia (aquatic invertebrates), their parasites, and their algal food source, and I'll explain how analyzing the dynamics such a system has helped us clarify how certain biological phenomena drive some of the more interesting dynamics that can arise in this and other three-species models. Third, I'll spend the second half of the talk discussing more recent work modelling fish movement and population dynamics in response to changes in their physical environment (water temperature and dissolved oxygen [DO] levels), focusing on the population consequences of seasonal hypoxia in Lake Erie. I'll present results from a spatially explicit model that incorporates fish bioenergetics and nearly two decades of temperature and DO data from Lake Erie which we are using to explore how seasonal hypoxia impacts these populations, and I'll briefly discuss ongoing work using an extension of this fish movement model to assess how seasonal hypoxia will affect infectious disease transmission among fish.